Pasco schools don't plan to add ambulance service after football accident
After a football player had to be helicoptered to a hospital from a recent Land O'Lakes High School game, Pasco school district officials received requests to place EMS services at all games -- something the district hasn't done for more than 10 years.
So far, the answer has been to remain with the status quo.
"We believe the athletic trainer is the way to go," assistant superintendent Ray Bonti told the Gradebook.
All Pasco high schools have certified athletic trainers working practices and games 40 hours a week, thanks to the support of a grant from Florida Hospital. Those trainers can identify and treat most injuries, and know when to call for additional assistance, Bonti said.
The cost of having an ambulance at every sporting event might get out of hand, he suggested. County officials have told the district that one advanced life support ambulance manned by a paramedic and an EMT is $130 an hour, with a three hour minimum. Fire Rescue has one basic life support ambulance and its rate with two EMTs is $95 an hour, also with three hour minimum.
Pasco Fire Rescue provided BLS services for games years ago, but that was when there were only five high schools. Now there are 13.
And "it's not just Friday night football," Bonti noted.
The district has midweek junior varsity games and middle school games, for instance. Other sports also have regular activities and games.
Meanwhile, the first responders arrived at the Land O'Lakes High game in six minutes, with the rescue services on site eight minutes after. District officials would not identify the injured player, but said he was improving.